Wolfley’s 3-RBI day powers Mustangs
Midd-West tops Wildcats, move to 10-4
BEAVER SPRINGS — The Midd-West Mustangs clinched a postseason berth on Tuesday after they defeated the Greenwood Wildcats by a final score of 6-3, at West Snyder Elementary School.
The Mustangs didn’t have their best game offensively, but their excellent pitching and steady defense held Greenwood in check.
“We have to go out and execute and that’s what we didn’t do (at the plate),” Mustangs’ coach Scott Wright said. “We’ll get it and we’ll be ready (for playoffs).”
Preston Arbogast got the nod for the Mustangs and brought his A-game from the first pitch. The right-hander was perfect through the first three innings and retired the first 10 batters he faced before Avery Morder singled to left to end his bid for perfection.
Even if Arbogast had made it through the first four innings unscathed, Midd-West’s coach Scott Wright said he doesn’t believe he would have let his starter go the distance. Wright buys into his team’s system of pitching by committee, as it allows his pitchers to go as hard as they can in the few innings that they are on the bump.
“(The pitchers) know they probably won’t go more than three innings,” Wright said. “One leaves it all out on the mound, then we come back with another pitcher.”
Arbogast finished his day pitching four scoreless innings, striking out two and allowing one hit.
Logan Rager and Julian Krainak polished off the last three frames for the Mustangs and while they were not as sharp as Arbogast, the duo of relievers kept the Wildcats off-balance.
Rager allowed two runs in two innings and Krainak picked up the save, allowing a run in the seventh.
While Arbogast was dealing on the mound, the Midd-West offense got to work.
Hunter Wolfley led off the game by reaching first on a throwing error by the Wildcats’ shortstop. Wolfley stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. Caden Wolfley drove in the game’s first run on a RBI groundout to second.
The Mustangs exploded for four runs in the third inning, which chased Greenwood’s starter Austin Murphy.
Hunter Wolfley beat out an infield hit and scored on a Cam Richards’ RBI single. Richards was driven in by a triple to right-center field off the bat of Caden Wolfley, who later scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Griffen Paige.
Julian Krainak scored on a wild pitch to extend the Mustangs’ lead to 5-0. After that, the Midd-West offense went cold.
“This team is aggressive,” Wright said. “I felt that tonight, we had a letdown in the middle innings there. We can’t do that. We have to be aggressive the whole time. We have to hit the whole time.”
The “letdown” that Wright is referring to is the stranding of multiple runners on base in the later innings. The Mustangs failed to score with runners in scoring position and one out in the fifth. In the following inning, Midd-West loaded the bases and could not push across a run either.
However, the Mustangs did enough to seal the win and earn the right to play in the postseason–a goal that will be celebrated, but was expected coming into the season.
“From the beginning of the year, we expected to make it,” Wright explained. “This team can turn the switch on and off, just like that. They need to learn to turn it on and leave it on.”
Midd-West 6, Greenwood 3
G: 000 011 1–3-5-2
MW: 104 100 X–6-10-0
WP: Preston Arbogast. LP: Austin Murphy. SV: Julian Krainak. SO: Arbogast 4, Logan Rager, Krainak (MW); Ethan Jezewski 2 (G). BB: Rager 2, Arbogast (MW); Sam Myers 4 (G). 3B: Caden Wolfley (MW). MH: Hunter Wolfley 2-3, Griffen Paige 2-3, Caden Wolfley 2-4 (MW); Avery Morder 2-3 (GW). RBI: C. Wolfley 3, Paige (MW); Myers, Landon Hall (G).